Eureka, Ep. 5.06: “Worst Case Scenario” puts one of its stars in the director’s chair

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Eureka Review, Season 5, Episode 6, “Worst Case Scenario”
Written by Jill Blotevogel
Directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Airs Mondays at 9pm ET on SyFy

Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison) sits in the director’s chair for the first second time and doesn’t miss a beat.  She has been with the show since the beginning, so it’s safe to say she understands how things work around there and her familiarity is apparent. Despite “Worst Case Scenario” being predictable and formulaic, by Eureka’s standards, Richardson-Whitfield is able to bring it to life in a way that would suggest she’s been directing Eureka all along.

While running a disaster simulation, the computer in charge decides to set off a series of real events that Sheriff Carter and the rest of the crew must stop before the town is destroyed.  Of course everything works out and the town is saved; no major twists or shockers exist in “Worst Case Scenario.”  This does not tarnish the episode however, as Eureka is a show that relies more on its actors’ performances and witty dialogue and less on big moments.

The best performances of the episode come from Erica Cerra (Jo) and Neil Grayston (Fargo).  The two of them are both dealing with serious emotional situations and each individually excels at bringing their rarely-seen dramatic acting to the table.  For Jo, it’s dealing with the fact that she opened up to Jack about her feelings and he completely shunned her.  (What Jo doesn’t know is that Allison was actually in Jack’s body at the time, so Jack remains completely oblivious.) Fargo and Zane, meanwhile, are able to bring the Matrix back online and Fargo discovers his beloved Holly inside.  Fargo knows that Holly died in the real world, and that he probably won’t be able to save her conscience, and he handles the situation very much like an adult, which is uncommon for Fargo.

The characters’ emotional turmoil is complex, yet can be understood by the viewer thanks to Cerra and Grayston’s respective performances.  Each will continue to face challenges-  Jo and Allison have a confrontation that will make things awkward in the future, and Fargo will either figure out how to save Holly or be forced to say goodbye. On the lighter side, Colin Ferguson (with some help from Kavan Smith as Deputy Andy) brings much of the humor to the episode thanks to his physical comic skills and comedic timing as Sheriff Jack Carter.  The most smile-worthy moments usually come from interactions between these two.

There is one theme in this episode that could end up being borderline controversial. Holly “died” a few episodes back and it’s safe to say her body is decaying somewhere, meaning they can’t just plug her consciousness back into her body.  There seem to be a few different paths the writers can take.  The first is to wipe out her consciousness, which could be the moral thing to do, allowing her to move on.  Another option would be to keep her consciousness alive in the virtual world,  but then she would be stuck, living in a virtual purgatory.  There’s also the sci-fi option of putting her consciousness in an artificial body à la Caprica (Zoe Graystone’s copied consciousness was uploaded into a Cylon). Between this issue and the Jack-Allison-Jo situation, there are plenty of touchy topics for the writers to explore over the next few episodes.

-Christopher Laplante

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